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Last BuddhaFuture Buddha
Maitreya Lokapala Stone Shrine

Antique Chinese Marble Stone Stele
Maitreya Buddha

Lokapala Trinity
Song Dynasty, 960-1279 A.D.
h.30in.(76cm.) X w.13 in.(33cm.) X d.7in.(18cm.)
Condition: minor erosions

A marble carving, pearl gray with burnished areas of pure white, age patina from accumulations and minerals over time. The age of the piece is evidenced in the many small chips and the resulting texture and coloration of the stone over a long period of time. Stylistically the work resembles Tang style, as during the Song Dynasty artistic developments were strongly focused on painting and the elegant sculptural traditions of the Tang were sustained.

Carved in very high relief from a single piece of stone, depicting the Buddha Maitreya, the future avatar, standing beneath a canopy--a symbol of power and protection from defilement ornamented with lion heads, clouds and a protective three-toed creature, and flanked by two robed bodhisattvas carrying club-like staffs. The central figure stands richly adorned with jewels, a floral pendant and draping robes, his smiling face emerging from a radiant aureole. The two smaller figures bear the resolute expressions of protectors of the light. A foliate design is carved on the front of the plinth on either side of which are monkeys with offerings.


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